Ready Stack -- How Come?
Tue, 30 Jun 2020 20:42:33 -0000|
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Ready Stack -- How Come?
For new people who come on board here at Dell Technologies, the learning curve can be steep. We provide hardware and software infrastructure solutions of all shapes and sizes to meet customer demands. The product portfolio is deep and wide.
As technologically minded consumers in this era, when confronted by a seemingly overwhelming number of choices, we often rightfully ask the subject matter expert: "What would you recommend?"
This is exactly the question that the Ready Stack program seeks to answer for our customers who are looking for powerful and reliable converged infrastructure solutions. Not a "product" as such, Ready Stack provides documents that describe reference architectures that we feel work well together. We write and post these documents on the Dell Technologies Info Hub on a regular basis. Many of these reference architectures provide detailed deployment instructions, in the form of a deployment guide; all reference architectures include a detailed design guide.
The entire collection is complemented by a Reference Architecture Guide that lists the Dell EMC compute, storage, and network portfolios that we draw upon when we put together a design. The entire portfolio is composed of Dell Technologies products, backed by single call support.
Simply put, Ready Stack enables you to build your own converged infrastructure solution using your choice of Dell EMC best-in-class technology components. Each reference architecture provides a flexible combination of compute (such as MX7000 blade servers or rack servers), storage (such as PowerStore, PowerMax, or Unity XT), and networking (including S Series ToR switches and Z Series core switches). In the end, it is the customer who decides which combinations of these assets best meet their requirements.
Our Ready Stack docs sometimes offer early glimpses into the latest products that are available from Dell Technologies. So we encourage you to check back on the Ready Stack library from time to time to take advantage of an ever widening selection of compute, network, storage, and data protection options!
For more information about Ready Stack and the options it provides, check out these resources:
Principal Engineer, Technical Marketing
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Dell EMC SmartFabric Services with Dell EMC PowerStore
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 18:41:12 -0000|
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Why SmartFabric Services with PowerStore?
With Dell Technologies’ integrated PowerSwitch portfolio and SmartFabric Services (SFS), we offer a holistic Dell on Dell solution, that is easier than ever to automate networking as an extension of the modern infrastructure solutions offered by Dell Technologies, making difficult networking a thing of the past.
Dell EMC SmartFabric Services enables an end to end automated fabric with up to 98% of the tasks automated offering simplicity and agility towards day 2 network operations for cluster and network expansion. The single pane of management with VMware vCenter allows users to operate and perform life cycle management of one or more fabrics from within VMware vCenter.
In this example, I will demonstrate how to enable SFS and use the Open Manage Network Integration (OMNI) ova tool to onboard a PowerStore X appliance onto the SmartFabric.
The first step in the process is to make the necessary connections. In the following example, a single PowerStore X appliance connected to a pair of Dell EMC PowerSwitch S5248F-ON switches. There is a connection from each PowerStore node in the appliance to the OOB Management network which allows us to manage the Fabric and use the PowerStore Remote Discovery Tool for initial deployment.
Once everything is connected appropriately, configure the SmartFabric. You can configure the SmartFabric with a single command at the CLI of the S5248F-ON switch. It is considered a best practice to also configure the OOB Mgmt interface on the switch. This allows the OMNI tool to manage the Fabric after the initial configuration.
Use the following sequence to configure the management interface and enable SmartFabric mode.
S5248F-Leaf1A# S5248F-Leaf1A# configure terminal S5248F-Leaf1A(config)# S5248F-Leaf1A(config)# interface mgmt 1/1/1 S5248F-Leaf1A(conf-if-ma-1/1/1)# no ip address dhcp S5248F-Leaf1A(conf-if-ma-1/1/1)# ip address 100.67.128.31/24 S5248F-Leaf1A(conf-if-ma-1/1/1)# no shutdown S5248F-Leaf1A(conf-if-ma-1/1/1)# exit S5248F-Leaf1A(config)# S5248F-Leaf1A(config)# smartfabric l3fabric enable role LEAF vlti ethernet 1/1/49-1/1/52 Reboot to change the personality? [yes/no]:yes
Once SFS is enabled, the switch will reboot and come back up in SmartFabric mode. Next, the OMNI ova is installed onto an existing vCenter. This allows us to create the necessary uplink, networks, and onboard the PowerStore X onto our SmartFabric.
SmartFabric services has several configuration options including L2 or L3 uplinks. The various configuration options for SFS can be found in the Dell EMC SmartFabric Services for PowerEdge ESXi Servers and Isilon Storage Deployment Guide.
Also, OMNI provides us with an additional benefit in that it will orchestrate day 2 automation. OMNI will be registered with both the SmartFabric and the vCenter. When a change is made to the VDS, such as a port group creation or modification, the corresponding network is created/modified on the Fabric and the associated interfaces configured for those networks. OMNI orchestrates this by monitoring vCenter tasks and then uses REST API calls to make the associated changes on the SmartFabric.
The next step is to go to OMNI and select the Server Interface tab.
SFS automatically discovers the PowerStore interfaces, which allows for a bulk configuration of all the PowerStore interfaces. This process applies to both the PowerStore X and the PowerStore T models.
Once the +Import From Fabric option is chosen the PowerStore interfaces are dynamically discovered and presented to the user.
Select the specific PowerStore interfaces and first add a server profile with the +Add to Server Profile option. Once this is complete, choose the +Add Networks option to apply the required networks (Mgmt, vMotion, Storage, and if necessary Remote-Discovery).
The final step is to select all interfaces and click the Create button. Now the Fabric is configured for a successful PowerStore deployment. The final step is to discover the PowerStore appliance and complete the Initial Configuration Wizard. Reference the Dell EMC PowerStore Network Planning Guide and other PowerStore documentation on the Dell Support site for more details on the procedure for deploying a PowerStore Appliance.
More information about SFS and PowerStore, see the Dell EMC SmartFabric Services with Dell EMC PowerStore Reference Architecture Guide.
For additional Dell Networking Solutions information, visit infohub.delltechnologies.com.
Dell Technologies partners with Microsoft and Red Hat running SQL Server Big Data Clusters on OpenShift
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 18:39:56 -0000|
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Introduced with Microsoft SQL Server 2019, SQL Server Big Data Clusters allow customers to deploy scalable clusters of SQL Server, Spark, and HDFS containers running on Kubernetes. Complete info on Big Data Clusters can be found in the Microsoft documentation. Many Dell Technologies customers are using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform as their Kubernetes platform of choice and with this and many other solutions we are leading the way on OpenShift applications.
In Cumulative Update 5 (CU5) of Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters (BDC), OpenShift 4.3+ is supported as a platform for Big Data Clusters. This has been a highly anticipated launch as customers not only realize the power of BDC and OpenShift but also look for the support of Dell Technologies, Microsoft, and Red Hat to run mission-critical workloads. Dell Technologies has been working with Microsoft and Red Hat to develop architecture guidance and best practices for deploying and running BDC on OpenShift.
For this effort we utilized the Databricks’ TPC-DS Spark SQL kit to populate a dataset and run a workload on the OpenShift 4.3 BDC cluster to test the various architecture components of the solution. The TPC-DS benchmark is a popular database benchmark used to evaluate performance in decision support and Big Data environments.
Based on our testing we were able to achieve linear scale of our workload while fully exercising our OpenShift cluster consisting of 12 Dell EMC R640 PowerEdge Servers and a single Dell EMC Unity 880F storage array.
Total time of all queries run for 10,20,and 30TB datasets
As a result of this testing, a fully detailed OpenShift reference architecture and a best practices paper for running Big Data Clusters on Dell EMC Unity storage are under way and will be published soon. More information on Dell Technologies solutions for OpenShift can be found on our OpenShift Info Hub. Additional information on Dell Technologies for SQL Server can be found on our Microsoft SQL webpage.